Sicario: Day Of The Soldado will next week become the first indie to open day-and-date in Saudi Arabia since the 35-year movie theater ban was lifted. The follow-up to Denis Villeneuve’s gritty 2015 Mexico-set action thriller is again scripted by Taylor Sheridan, with Gomorrah‘s Stefano Sollima directing.
Sony is distributing the Black Label/Thunder Road production domestically on June 29. In Saudi, Italia Film will release Sicario 2 at the AMC Theaters in Riyadh on June 28. Italia, which is Disney’s local sub-distributor, also released Marvel’s Black Panther which launched the break of the ban in April.
Saudi has largely been working with studio tentpole fare, but is quickly expanding the incoming slate. Paramount’s A Quiet Place recently scored a release in the market as the first title for the studio, and the first horror pic. That film was given a +15 certificate while Day Of The Soldado has an R18 for violence and subject matter, says Italia’s Carlo Vincenti.
Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro return as CIA operative Matt Graver and the mysterious lawyer-turned-assassin Alejandro in the sequel that moves the story from an emphasis on battling drug trafficking to human trafficking as Mexican cartels are exporting terrorists across the border. Graver calls on Alejandro, whose family was murdered by a cartel kingpin, to escalate the war. He kidnaps the kingpin’s daughter to inflame the conflict — but when the girl is seen as collateral damage, her fate will come between the two men as they question everything they are fighting for.
Catherine Keener, Isabela Moner, Jeffrey Donovan, Matthew Modine and Manuel Garcia-Rulfo also star.
Italia’s Vincenti says the release is “another great victory for the film industry and for film fans in Saudi Arabia and we are happy to be part of this second history-in-the-making event.”
In a nice bit of serendipity, Italia CEO and founder, Joseph Vincenti, collaborated with Stafano Sollima’s father, Sergio Sollima, on the production of Agente 3S3: Passaporto Per L’Inferno back in 1965.